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Comparison of Grace Nichols

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Comparison of Grace Nichols Over a period of time I have studied the similarities and differences between two poems written by Grace Nichols called, 'The Fat Black Woman Goes Shopping,' and 'Up My Spine'. After much consideration I have decided to compare the following: repetition, rhyme, missed out words, punctuation, strange spelling, race, woman's rights, economic exploitation and consumer society. 'The Fat Black Woman Goes Shopping', is about a self conscious woman who desperately wants to fit in with society, but finds it impossible because of her size and colour. 'Up My Spine', is about Grace Nichols observing a lonely old woman from a distance. Grace Nichols has used repetition in both 'Up My Spine' and 'The Fat Black Woman Goes Shopping'. In 'The Fat Black Woman Goes Shopping', the phrase 'The fat black woman is repeated, whereas, in 'Up My Spine the first stanza is repeated, for example. 'I see the old dry-head woman leaning on her hoe twist up and shaky like a cripple insect'. In both examples, Grace Nichols has used repetition because these are oral poems written in Creole dialect. ...read more.


'Lord is aggravating'. Here she has missed out 'it' between 'lord' and 'is', it should read 'Lord it is aggravating'. The reason for the missing words is that she is pretending to be a character other than herself. In my opinion this is strong evidence that the fat black woman is not in her own country. This is not the only evidence that suggests this. Right at the begging of the poem she states the weather is cold, this could be because she isn't yet acclimatised to Great Britain's climate. She can speak Swahili and Yoruba witch is her national language and has also spelt the word 'the' wrong frequently, she has spelt it 'de', for example. 'Shopping in London winter is a real drag for the fat black woman going from store to store in search of accommodating clothes and de weather so cold'. In 'Up My Spine' she has not miss out word or included strange spelling because she is not impersonating anyone. Grace Nichols has not used any proper punctuation, the only thing that she has done in both poems is put a capital letter at the begging of each verse, as if it was a new sentence. ...read more.


'I see her ravaged skin the stripes of mold where the whip fall hard'. Also in the third paragraph first line it states that she has a missing tow. In 'the fat black woman goes shopping' consumer society is the main situation. You get a strong feeling she resents young good looking women and even the mannequins in the shop window, for example. 'look at the frozen thin mannequins fixing her with a grin and the pretty face salesgals exchanging slimming glances thinking she don't notice'. The consumer society gives a strong impression that if you don't look thin and beautiful like the mannequins, you're not attractive. I think that both of these poems have been written to give a strong message to society 'The Fat Black Woman Goes Shopping' is about women's rights as is 'Up My Spine'. 'The Fat Black Woman Goes Shopping' is more social and personal and 'Up My Spine' is more physical. Both include alliteration and similes such as, 'soft and bright and billowing'. (Alliteration.) 'shaky like a cripple insect'. (Simile.) This is for a more dramatic and grasping effect, I think they have been successful achieving. Thomas Clark-Watson 10H. ...read more.

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